Salzburg police destroy 107 illegal gambling machines from 8 locations

Police also recovered €4,343 (£3,725/$5,162) that had been used to play on the machines.

The machines were seized and destroyed following a series of raids throughout the city across the year. Police also issued confiscation notices to those involved.

“The close networking and good cooperation between different authorities is a guarantee to successfully fight against fraud,” said Gernot Blümel, Austria’s Finance Minister.

Many of the establishments which harbour illegal gambling operations have taken measures to prevent police detection, including reinforced doors that allow individuals to disconnect devices from networks before the police can enter the premises.

In some cases, fog machines are installed in clubs, which can produce an irritant gas and disrupt detection.

“It is not always easy for officers, considering irritant gas systems, electrified doors and other traps during gambling raids,” added Blümel.

“We try to give our units the best possible support in the fight against crime through first-class training and equipment.”

The Ministry of Finance added that these illegal gambling devices can be well hidden, obscured behind mirrored or wallpapered doors, making detection more difficult.

Across Austria, a total of 276 raids took place between January and July 2021, through which 581 illegal gambling devices were confiscated.

During the same period, 142 criminal applications were submitted and more than €9m in penalties was issued, including €1.9m in Salzburg alone.

Last month, it was announced that Austria’s financial police had carried out a series of coordinated raids on unlicensed gambling establishments across 39 locations in the country, seizing 121 gaming machines.

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